Posted by: Wild Instincts | May 19, 2013

Western Fox Snake Release FINALLY!

On October 17, 2013, a Western Fox Snake was admitted to Wild Instincts. It had been caught in landscape netting which wrapped around it’s body in a couple places making it difficult to eat. The netting was removed, but it left wounds from where it had embedded into the skin. Being so late in fall, many snakes were already thinking about hibernation. It was clear this one would need some time to shed and recover. By the time the snake was recovered enough to be in the wild, it was the dead of winter. Snake was added to the Winter Over Guest List.
And what a winter this year. It didn’t want to leave! We waited and waited for spring to get warm enough so snake could be wild again. It had shed it’s skin about once a month during its time with us.
The weather started getting warmer finally and we made arrangements with one of our volunteers to transport the snake back to where it came from to be released on the property of the person who brought it to our attention. Wouldn’t you know when the weather was finally right, the snake decided to shed one more time.
When they shed they stop eating and get very inactive-not a good time to be released in a place where they haven’t had time to find a protected place to shed. It would make them too vulnerable to predators. So release day was postponed about a week.
But FINALLY on May 16th, after one last shed in captivity, the snake was released.
The fox snake’s name actually comes from the odor it emits when it is disturbed. It has a musky fox or skunk-like odor. They will pretend to be a rattler–you’ll see them coil, vibrate their tail quickly in leaf litter, and strike to scare away predators, but they are NOT poisonous.
Some people like to call them pine snakes because they live in pine barrens, but they also can be found in oak savannas, southern lowland forests, and dry southern and northern hardwoods.

Western Fox Snake 10/17/12 after being freed from landscape netting. There are 2 visible wounds left from the netting.

Western Fox Snake 10/17/12 after being freed from landscape netting. There are 2 visible wounds left from the netting.

October 17, 2012 Just after being freed from the landscape netting.

October 17, 2012 Just after being freed from the landscape netting.

May 17, 2013. First taste of freedom in months. Look closely to see the scars from last fall's landscape netting incident.

May 17, 2013.
First taste of freedom in months. Look closely to see the scars from last fall’s landscape netting incident.


10/17/13 Snake slithers back into the wild.

10/17/13
Snake slithers back into the wild.

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Responses

  1. Great job as always Mark and Sharon!


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